Nearly four months after becoming the first state in the U.S. to offer recreational sales of small amounts of marijuana to adults over the age of 21, Coloradans are still high on legal weed, according to a new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Monday.
By a margin of 52 to 38 percent, Colorado residents say legalizing marijuana has been good for the state. When asked if they support the law legalizing marijuana, 54% of respondents said they supported it, while 43% said they were opposed to it.
The poll found that most Coloradans believe that legalizing pot will actually have a positive impact on the state. 53 percent of voters polled said they believed that legalized marijuana will save the state and taxpayers a significant amount of money, and 50% of respondents said it will have a positive impact on the criminal justice system, compared to 40% who said it won’t. 53% of those surveyed also said that the new marijuana law “increases personal freedoms in a positive way.”
"Colorado voters are generally good to go on grass, across the spectrum, from personal freedom to its taxpayer benefits to its positive impact on the criminal justice system," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said in a release announcing the poll’s findings.
Despite the bullish attitudes toward legal weed, 50% of respondents said they have never tried marijuana, and just 15% said they had tried pot since recreational sales began on Jan. 1. By more than a 2-to-1 margin, respondents answered “no” when asked whether legalized marijuana has “eroded the moral fiber” of people in Colorado (67% to 30%).
However, as Malloy noted, “If you are a politician, think twice before smokin' them if you got 'em." When asked whether they would be “more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for elective office who smokes marijuana 2 or 3 days a week,” just 3% answered “more likely,” with 52% saying “less likely” and 43% saying it would make “no difference.”
As with many other recent surveys about attitudes toward pot, responses in the poll were sharply divided by political affiliation and age. When asked whether “legalized marijuana has been bad for the state” 63 percent of Republicans said yes, along with 62 percent of those over the age of 65. According to the Quinnipiac news release, “All other listed groups say it's good for the state.”
The poll comes just over a week after Denver’s 420 celebrations on April 20 attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the Mile High City to participate in what’s become something of a holiday for pot users. According to NBC News, Hotels.com reported a “73 percent spike in online hotel searches for stays April 18-20 this year as compared to similar searches conducted at the site for those dates last year.”